Know How / Environment

Get the latest news on environmental, wildlife and rewilding issues on farms and farmland. Keep up-to-date on a range of farm environment matters including climate change, Defra’s greening policies and environmental compliance. Get advice on measures to improve your farm’s environmental credentials and sustainable future, such as planting trees, reducing your carbon footprint and reducing waste.

Must reads: Coping with climate change

Practical advice

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BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Biodiversity Net Gain – what is it, how will it work?

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requires the effect on biodiversity of a new development to be quantified, and following development, the overall amount of natural habitat to be enhanced and left…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: What should I consider for reservoir plan?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Building a reservoir is a challenge in itself. Bringing in 'waste' materials…

DAIRY

Ways to reduce dairy greenhouse gas emissions to hit targets

Dairy farmers can make some easy strides to improve their carbon footprint as pressure mounts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farms. The NFU has set a target for farming…

SOILS

7 ways to flood-proof soils and improve drainage

Arable growers need to follow a seven-point plan to improve their soil structure especially if, as expected, new farm support payments will depend on healthy soils. With many arable areas…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Why surviving oilseed rape crops are worth persevering with

Oilseed rape growers should persevere with their crops this spring and apply early nitrogen fertiliser, to help combat low soil mineral nitrogen levels after the wet winter. Many crops have…

SOILS

How growers can help farming become carbon net zero 

Arable farmers will have a key role in helping the farming sector become net zero within 20 years, by locking up carbon and making better use of fuel and fertilisers.…

Case studies

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ENVIRONMENT

How to promote wildlife and have a profitable arable farm

Farmers are looking at ways to tie environmental practices into commercial operations without affecting their bottom line, as the Basic Payment Scheme is phased out in favour of providing public…

SOILS

AHDB strategic farm puts regenerative farming into practice

Building a more resilient production system is the main aim of Balbirnie Home Farms in Fife, as the mixed farming business prepares to become the AHDB’s Strategic Cereal Farm in…

SOILS

Organic arable farm goes carbon negative for Brexit future

Rising soil organic matter levels are soaking up greenhouse gases, giving one Cambridgeshire organic farm a negative carbon balance and preparing it for a no-subsidy Brexit future. Less ploughing and…

OILSEED RAPE

Video: Harvest on carbon-neutral OSR grower's farm

Duncan Farrington, an arable farmer in Northamptonshire, who produced the world’s first carbon- and plastic-neutral food product, has now completed harvest of his 36ha of rapeseed where the hybrid variety…

PIGS

Suffolk pig producers see multiple benefits from pollinators

Combining outdoor pig rearing with planting pollinator strips has helped Suffolk-based Dingley Dell Pork raise sow performance, help the environment and provide a marketing boost for their direct sales business.…

FEED AND NUTRITION

How Welsh beef farm is in top third for low carbon emissions

A Welsh beef farm is achieving carbon emissions that are 17% lower than average. Paul and Dwynwen Williams run a herd of 60 suckler cows and intensively finish 120 dairy-bred…

Insights

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BEEF

How suckler herds can reduce carbon footprint by 40%

Research conducted by the Stabiliser Cattle Company and Alltech E-CO2 has revealed that suckler producers can achieve a near 40% reduction in carbon footprint while saving £350 per cow place…

ENVIRONMENT

Why carbon reduction goal makes good business sense

While reducing greenhouse gases might not seem like a business priority, farmers are waking up to the cost savings as well as the environmental benefits of reducing their carbon footprint. …

ROTATIONS

Why whole-field stewardship has a place in arable rotations

A re-think of arable rotations is seeing greater integration of whole-field stewardship options, as growers look for ways to deliver both environmental and economic returns ahead of the arrival of…

ENVIRONMENT

Scientists developing EBV for lower methane emission

Farmers could be selecting cattle bred to produce lower methane emissions in the near future, according to a leading scientist. Methane is an important greenhouse gas, with 28-times the potential…

COMPLIANCE

Farmers plan nitrate trading system for Poole Harbour

In an innovative solution to protecting wildlife from agricultural nutrients in the Pool Harbour catchment area, farmers are working with the NFU and Wessex Water on a scheme to reduce…

ENVIRONMENT

Climate impact of grass-fed cattle overestimated, says study

Cattle that graze pasture rich in white clover produce just half the amount of nitrous oxide than previously thought, according to a study carried out by Rothamsted Research. The findings…

WILDLIFE

Can beavers and farms work together on flood control?

Hunted almost to extinction more than 400 years ago, beavers have gradually made their return to the UK. They hold protected status in Scotland and roam free in parts of…

Latest environment news

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ENVIRONMENT

Farmers key in fight against climate change – minister

Growers and livestock producers must take action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, a government minister has warned. Although emissions had fallen over…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

Government extends £5,000 grant scheme for flood-hit farmers

Farmers and rural businesses whose properties were affected by flooding last winter have been given more time to apply for government grants of up to £5,000.   Defra announced on…

COMPLIANCE

Plumpton College fined £50,000 for 'serious' pollution incident

Plumpton College in East Sussex has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000 in relation to a serious pollution incident that occurred on the college-run Lambert Farm…

WILDLIFE

Union seeks farmers' views on sea eagle predation

Farmers and crofters in Scotland are being asked to submit evidence about the impact white-tailed sea eagles may be having on their businesses and livelihoods. NFU Scotland (NFUS) has opened…

FARM POLICY

Defra targets phosphorus and nitrate to reduce pollution from fa...

Reducing pollution from farming and increasing wildlife habitats are among new targets set out by Defra to help the UK’s “green recovery”. The government says it will introduce at least…

DAIRY

Cows milk better for the planet than plant-based alternatives

Cows’ milk is far more sustainable for the planet that “milk alternatives” made from soya, especially if it comes from UK systems based on grass. That is the among the…

WILDLIFE

Grazing cattle help bring back rare blue butterfly

A rare butterfly has been successfully reintroduced into the English countryside after Natural England and partners created the ideal habitat using cows grazing meadows. The globally endangered large blue butterfly…

ENVIRONMENT

Greening measures to be scrapped for 2021, says Defra

Defra has confirmed that farmers in England will no longer have to comply with EU greening measures in order to receive their full BPS money in 2021. Under current arrangements,…

ENVIRONMENT

Tree-planting trial fails to replace carbon lost from soil

Planting huge numbers of trees to mitigate climate change is “not always the best strategy” – with some experimental sites in Scotland failing to increase carbon stocks, a new study…

ENVIRONMENT

Flood protection measures must recognise importance of farming

Government proposals to tackle flooding must ensure adequate funding to protect agricultural land, say industry leaders. Long-term plans to address flooding were announced by the government on Tuesday (14 July).…

FARMLIFE

Young farmers challenged to find net zero solutions

Young farmers are being challenged to come up with ideas on how the UK agricultural industry can reach its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The National…

POULTRY

Anger after charity blames poultry farmers for river pollution

Farm leaders in Wales have spoken of their anger and frustration after an environmental charity claimed poultry farmers were harming rivers. NFU Cymru has contacted the Wye and Usk Foundation…

Video

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OILSEED RAPE

Video: Harvest on carbon-neutral OSR grower's farm

Duncan Farrington, an arable farmer in Northamptonshire, who produced the world’s first carbon- and plastic-neutral food product, has now completed harvest of his 36ha of rapeseed where the hybrid variety…

WEATHER

Video: Farmer appeals for 'common sense' after crop flooded

Worcestershire grower Michael Lewis' recently drilled crop of spring wheat has been ruined by the floods. After wet weather scuppered his chances of drilling wheat last autumn, Mr Lewis took…

WEATHER

Video: Farmers in race to save in-lamb ewes from floods

A farming family in Herefordshire devastated by heavy flooding have described the race against time to save heavily in-lamb sheep from drowning. When lambing sheds housing 250 ewes began to…

ENVIRONMENT

Video: Why farmers are facing recycling headaches

Plastic and tyre waste disposal is a growing problem for agriculture. Environmental regulations require farmers to dispose of waste through reputable waste management services and they need to show proof…